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Thursday, August 20, 2009

BADR-1 Pakistan's First Experimental Satellite July 26, 1990

Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) has been established by the Government of Pakistan with the specific objective of acquiring the capability to make use of space science and space technology for peaceful purposes and to provide a general flip to scientific and technological activities in the country.

As part of the programmes for space research and technology, SUPARCO has developed suitable ground facilities for tracking of rockets and satellites and for acquiring of telemetry and other scientific data from satellites in low earth orbit as well as in geo-stationary orbit. This has helped SUPARCO in acquiring expertise to establish necessary infrastructure for the development of its own scientific payloads for launching into a low orbit.
Consequently the first experimental satellite. BADR-1 (Badr means full moon), launched on July 16, 1990 from Xi Chang Station about 2000 kilometers from Beijing on a Chinese rocket (Long March 2E) has been indigenously designed and fabricated as a first step towards development of more sophisticated satellites systems both for research in different fields of space science and technology and eventually for application purposes in the fields of earth observation and communications.

The orbital period of BADR-1 satellite is about 98 minutes and a typical pass over Pakistan would last 4.6 minutes. The orbit of BADR-1 has a nominal perigee (nearest distance) of 200 km and apogee (farthest distance) of 1000 km. On the average 2-3 satellite passes would be available in a day. The satellite carries a Digital Communication Experiment (DCE) for store-and-forward type communication of messages to low-cost ground stations.
The up-link of BADR-1 consists of two command receivers operating simultaneously in the UHF range, only one of which transmits at a given time. Other on-board experiments are in-house monitoring of sub-systems through telemetry and tele-command of satellite.
Two primary ground stations with facilities for tracking telemetry and tele-command of BADR-1 satellite are already in operation at Karachi and Lahore.

The main objectives of BADR-1 satellite are:
(i) To acquire know-how for indigenous development of satellites to create infrastructure for future satellite development activities.
(ii) To test the performance of indigenously developed satellites sub-systems in space environment.
(iii) to perform experiments in real-time voice and data communications between two user ground stations;
(iv) to demonstrate store-and-forward type message communication; and
(v) to educate the country\'s academic, scientific and amateur community in the tracking and use of low-earth-orbiting satellites
Contributed by: SUPARCO, Karachi

To commemorate the occasion Pakistan Post Office is issuing a commemorative postage stamp of Rs. 3/- denomination on the BADR-1 Pakistan\'s First Experimental Satellite on July 26, 1990.